The Prisoner (aka The Hero of Kvatch, and later Champion of Cyrodiil; ultimately Sheogorath)
A prisoner in the Imperial Prison that was lucky enough to cross paths with Emperor Uriel Septim and the Blades. After escaping and witnessing the Emperor's assassination, they are tasked with delivering the Amulet of Kings to Jauffre.
- A God Is You: By the end of Shivering Isles.
- Ambiguous Gender: As Sheogorath. Daedric Princes are technically genderless and can assume whichever form they want.
- Anti-Hero: If played with high infamy.
- Skyrim further implies that the player character canonically ultimately became Sheogorath, dropping small hints that they may have been involved with the Dark Brotherhood questline (they mention a severed head) and Thieves Guild (they mention a fox).
- Karma Houdini/Villain with Good Publicity: Perhaps. References in Skyrim suggest the Champion may have joined both the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild; despite that, they still get hailed as a hero and rewarded with near god-like power. As always, however, the truth is left ambiguous.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Becomes the new Daedric Prince of Madness during the events of the Shivering Isles.
- Asexuality: It's subtle, but the Champion of Cyrodiil never seems to show any interest in other NPCs, even when they drop hints and flirt with him/her. Most notable in "The Siren's Deception" if you play as a male, where the temptresses have to practically spell out their intentions to you and playing along with their ruse isn't even an option.
- On the other hand, a lone conversation with an alchemist in Skingrad suggests they might be into necrophilia...
- Badass Normal: Comes over as this compared the player characters from Morrowind and Skyrim. The player character from Morrowind is the Nerevarine, the reincarnation of an ancient legendary general, while the player character from Skyrim is the Dragonborn, a mortal with access to the reality warping ancient language of the dragons. The only peculiarity this character has, is that they happen to be at the right place at the right time to meet the emperor and set in motion the chain of events leading to the defeat of Mehrunes Dagon. Apart from this, there is nothing setting them apart from other people. However, this does not stop them from marching into Oblivion and killing hordes of Daedra. They avert this trope after becoming the new Daedric Prince of Madness, losing the "Normal" part in more ways than one.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: It's implied that no-one, not even the Champion, seems to know exactly why they were in that prison cell at the beginning of the game. Martin Septim believes that this was no mere coincidence.
- Canon Name: If the Construction Set is any indication, Bendu Olo.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Simply using a spell/skill a lot can make the player have incredible strength, the ability to jump impossible heights, run faster than a charging bear, among many other traits.
- The Chooser of The One / Herald: While the Champion wasn't the one to actually choose Martin, per se, they were the one sent out to find him, inform him of his destiny and aid him in bringing it about, technically qualifying them for this role.
- Deity of Human Origin: Apparently the first mortal to become a Daedric Prince. note .
- The Dreaded: The Champion can become this to their enemies.
- Featureless Protagonist: Can be male, female, human, elven or even Argonian or Khajiit. It's really up to you.
- God Is Displeased: Per the Knights of the Nine DLC, the Champion must complete multiple tasks earning the Aedra's favor to wear the enchanted Crusader Armor. If too many crimes are committed, the Aedra remove both it and all the protective enchantments from the Champion, demanding the Champion complete the pilgrimage again to regain their favor.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: The Emperor has long-since known and accepted that the day he finally meets the mysterious person from his dreams, will be the day he dies, though they are not the one who kills him.
- Hypocrite: Depending on how you play, many possibilities exist:
- Humorously, you can become a member of the vampire hunting Order of the Virtuous Blood even if you're a vampire yourself.
- If you join the Mage's Guild and fight Necromancers, you can still engage in necromancy yourself, such as creating black soul gems.
- Who can undertake a quest to raid a den of skooma traders, and then steal their skooma and sell it yourself.
- Most notoriously, a journal entry at the end of the quest "Unfriendly Competition" mentions that it was fitting justice for you to kill a grave robber as grave robbing is punishable by death. Graves are regularly encountered as loot sources in various dungeons. By the point you've finished that quest you've likely robbed hundreds of graves yourself.
- Impoverished Patrician: In the Fighter's Stronghold DLC, Castle Battlehorn is bequeathed to the Champion after defeating its would-be invaders. Lord Kelvyn, the previous owner, had sold most of the Castle's wealth to pay for its upkeep, with his will explicitly stating that he hoped that the Champion would refurbish the Castle back to its former glory.
- Similarly, the Wizard's Tower DLC has Frostcrag Spire being bequeathed to the Champion by a distant relative. Since it's mostly unfurnished, they're required to bring the tower back up to snuff.
- The Lancer: Uniquely enough for an Elder Scrolls Protagonist, they play this role to Martin.
- Loss of Identity: An ambiguous case. The Champion's appearance as the new Sheogorath in Skyrim shows they've assumed the appearance and mannerisms of the previous mad god, but their dialogue implies that they remember their old life, and their shenanigans are noticeably more benevolent than the old Sheogorath's.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Snooping into the game files reveal that their default name is Bendu Olo, known in the lore as a former Colovian king of Anvil.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Empire collapses sometime after the game despite all your efforts to save it and partially because of them.
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: Shows up again in Skyrim as the new Sheogorath.
- Really 700 Years Old: Over 200 years old by the time of their appearance in Skyrim.
- Silent Protagonist: Pretty much. Despite having the occasional line of text, your character isn't voiced aside from grunts and yells in battle.
- Supporting Protagonist: To Martin.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Flavor Text for the level up descriptions portrays this nicely. And you can go from a mortal to a God.
- Unwitting Pawn: During the second half of the Dark Brotherhood quest line, to Bellamont.
- Villain Protagonist: Depending on how you play. There's no reason why you can't go around punching everyone you see, and still save the world. And the Dark Brotherhood quest line is very much intended to let the player be a villain. Might be canon, considering, outside of Martin, they only reference the Thieves' Guild and the Dark Brotherhood questlines as Sheogorath.
Empire of Tamriel
- Voiced by: Patrick Stewart
The Emperor of Tamriel. The player meets him at the beginning of the game, as he is escaping from a group of assassins through a secret passage in the Imperial Dungeons. His attempts to flee are futile, and he is eventually killed, but not before handing the player the Amulet of Kings, which starts the main storyline of the game.
For additional details on Uriel Septim VII outside the context of Oblivion, see his entry on the series' Recurring Characters page.
- Barrier Emperor: The reason he and his heirs are assassinated; the Imperial line's covenant with Akatosh is what keeps the Daedra out of the mortal world.
- Cool Old Guy: Is kind and friendly to you even though you're a prisoner and he's the Emperor.
- Cursed with Awesome: He can't turn off his prophetic dreams, so when you meet him he's been having terrible nightmares of the suffering to come.
- Ermine Cape Effect: His time in the game is just wearing his royal robes, but the context of the game makes it clear he didn't have time to change his clothes.
- Face Death with Dignity: He's long since foreseen his death in his dreams and come to accept it.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Gives the player the Amulet of Kings after falling victim to an assassin.
- Nice Guy / Nice to the Waiter: He's unfailing polite to the player at all times, even rebuking his bodyguards after they insult you and suspect you of being an assassin sent to kill the Emperor. Somewhat justified however, since he's long since dreamt of your meeting, hence his inexplicable faith and trust in you, a lowly prisoner at the time.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: His purple, ermine-trimmed robe, and the amulet.
- Voiced by: Sean Bean
The last surviving son of Emperor Uriel Septim, Martin was raised as a priest in the city of Kvatch. After the Emperor's death, daedra invade Kvatch in order to hunt Martin down, but he is rescued by the player. Despite being reluctant at first, he grows to suit the role of Emperor.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: His fate at the end of the main quest.
- The Atoner: He used to be a Daedra worshipper - even a previous owner of one of their legendary artifacts - but when you meet him, he's a quiet and humble priest.
- Badass Bookworm: He spends most of the game at Cloud Ruler temple, poring over old tomes to help the player retrieve the Amulet of Kings, but proves himself quite a capable combatant in the Battle of Bruma.
- Big Good: Being the only one who can seal the gates of Oblivion and Emperor of Tamriel.
- Bling of War: His Dragon Armor, which is essentially a set of Imperial Legion plate reworked in solid gold.
- The Chosen One: The only person who can save the Empire by lighting the dragonfires and closing the gates of Oblivion.
- Dark and Troubled Past: In his youth, he and other dissatisfied young Mages Guild apprentices studied Daedric magic with the result of some people, including Martin's friends, getting killed. It's implied that the Sanguine Rose was involved.
- Doomed Hometown: He was raised in Kvatch, which is on fire and full of daedra by the time the player reaches it.
- The Good King: In Skyrim, he's memorialized as the greatest of the Septims. Not bad for a bastard-born priest whose reign was five minutes long. In that time, however, he defeated a Daedric Prince and saved Tamriel.
- The Hero: Of the story. The Hero of Kvatch is actually his Lancer.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Martin gives up his soul to become an avatar of Akatosh and defeat Mehrunes Dagon at the end of the main quest. Fitting for a Sean Bean character.
- Nice Guy: Definitely. It's a shame; he would have made a great Emperor, if he had been given more time.
- One-Winged Angel: Inverted this time, as Martin is the Big Good. He turns into a flaming golden dragon during the finale of the main quest and epically defeats Mehrunes Dagon.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Learning he is the heir to the throne never once changes his humble behavior. He also takes an active role in researching how to stop the Daedric invasion and even goes to battle himself on several occasions.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He really shows he deserves being the heir to the Empire. Before knowing of his title, he helps the citizens of Kvatch when the Daedra assault the city. And after learning of his title, he actively tries to find a way to seal the Gates of Oblivion, even leads a few battles himself and thoughtlessly makes a Heroic Sacrifice when things looked grim. So he is a real clear example of this trope.
- Spoiled Sweet: Despite being the heir to the Empire he never acts superior or stuck up towards the player.
An order of soldiers who serves as the Emperor's personal bodyguards and spies
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: There are many of them stationed at the Cloud Ruler's Temple. Many powerful, over-trained, hardened warriors sworn to protect the Empire. So, will they help you fight off the Mythic Dawn and close the Gates of Oblivion that pop up everywhere across Cyrodiil? Yeah, no, they'll just stay at the Temple and... Well, do nothing. Only Baurus will help you from time to time but he's mostly just good at getting himself killed.
- Samurai: Their armor looks like a combination between the designs of a samurai and a Roman legionary. They also wield katanas instead of the traditional straight European style swords the rest of Cyrodill likes to use.
- Warrior Monks: An order of these.
- Voiced by: Ralph Cosham
The aging Breton leader of the Blades, who comes out of retirement during the Oblivion crisis and serves as a mentor to Martin.
- Badass Grandpa: He appears to be at least sixty years old, but does rather well for himself with a six-foot katana.
- The Confidant: Served as one to Uriel Septim VII.
- Mauve Shirt: He's unkillable while he's tied into story missions. After that's over, he can perish in the Oblivion Gate battle.
- Secret Keeper: He was the only person that Uriel VII entrusted with the knowledge of Martin's existence.
- Voiced by: Michael Mack
A young Redguard Blade who served as Emperor Uriel's bodyguard during the last moments of his life.
- Fire-Forged Friends: At the start of the game, he is rude and distrustful of you (justified, since you were a prisoner at the time), but by the time he helps you getting a clue to find the Mythic Dawn's location, he starts to act more friendly with you. And if he survives the meeting, he even calls you friend.
- Historical In-Joke: His name evokes Brutus, but is trying to protect the emperor.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He bears a remarkable resemblance to his voice actor, Michael Mack (despite him voicing all Redguards in the game).
- My Greatest Failure: Blames himself for being unable to protect Uriel from death.
Forces of Oblivion
Order of the Mythic Dawn
A cult dedicated to destroying boundaries between Tamriel and Oblivion. Led by the ellusive Mankar Camoran.
- Voiced by: Terence Stamp
An Altmer mage, leader of the Mythic Dawn cult, and bent on summoning Mehrunes Dagon to Tamriel. Writer of the "Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes".
- Consummate Liar: He's obviously not telling the whole truth. The real son of the Camoran Usurper was a Bosmer, and his list of Daedric realms and their rulers contradicts several other sources. His speech to the Mythic Dawn about Paradise is also more than a tad misleading. He's damned good at sounding believable, though. Don't forget his speech if you walk into Paradise after completing the Shivering Isles. He'll have no idea you're now Sheogorath.
- Dimension Lord: Created the Daedric Pocket Dimension of Paradise using the Mysterium Xarxes, where he receives the souls of his faithful into eternal bondage and torment.
- The Dragon: To Mehrunes Dagon. Camoran's children, Raven and Ruma, are his Co-Dragons.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Implied. He has two children in the Mythic Dawn and they are the only ones other than him that aren't being tortured.
- Evil Brit: A villain with British accent.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can seem affable, but he really really isn't.
- Foreshadowing: In some Oblivion Gate worlds, you can find some Mythic Dawn agents dead and imprisoned, which is a hint of what awaits for members that are not him or his daughters.
- The Fundamentalist: Kind of a given considering he is the high priest of a doomsday cult.
- Hannibal Lecture: As you travel through his Paradise near the end of the main quest, you hear his voice in your head remarking on the futility of your actions and the true nature of the Daedra Lords and the Nine Divines. Apparently, Tamriel is just another plane of Oblivion, and the Nine are traitors to the Daedra Lords, the true gods of the universe. Though considering the amount of mistakes in the speech and holes in his backstory, he might just be a liar or badly informed.
- The Heavy: He's the most active villain in the game, until the end when Mehrunes Dagon is summoned.
- Manipulative Bastard: Oh, boy. He told his followers in the Mythic Dawn that they'd go to Paradise. Turns out, this Paradise is only for Camoran and his children, while his followers are tortured there and unable to die.
- Unreliable Expositor: His speech claiming that Lorkhan is a Daedric Prince, the Aedric gods are usurpers, and Nirn is a plane of Oblivion sounds quite plausible. It's also full of errors and inconsistencies with every other piece of lore in the Elder Scrolls universe, as well as possibly the player's own experiences, suggesting he is either lying or sorely misinformed.
- Voiced by: Craig Sechler
An Altmer member of the Mythic Dawn responsible for opening the Oblivion Gate at Kvatch, where he was killed. He later assists the Hero of Kvatch in Paradise.
- The Atoner: He comes to regret his actions and assisting Mankar.
- Cult Defector: Does this posthumously in the Artificial Afterlife that their leader Mankar Camoran built with a Daedric Prince's patronage. Realizing that they were being used and their "Paradise" is a trap, he helps the Player Character find and kill Camoran.
- Redemption Equals Death: He helps the Hero kill Mankar, which destroys Paradise and permanently kills all souls trapped there.
Daedric Prince of Destruction and the leader of the Daedric forces invading Tamriel. Worshipped by the Mythic Dawn as a god. Appears in the flesh at the end of the Main Quest in a last ditch attempt to stop the lighting of the dragonfires, forcing Martin to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat him.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When he manifests, it's as this.
- Big Bad: Of the Oblivion main quest line.
- Big Red Devil: Very big, very red and very demonic-looking, though not the in-universe equivalent of the devil.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Do not engage. You may be destructive, but he is Destruction.
- Destroyer Deity: The Daedric Prince of Destruction.
- I'm Melting!: Should you actually kill him, which is at least theoretically possible, he ends up melting into a puddle due to not having a death animation or ragdoll skeleton for his corpse.
- Person of Mass Destruction: He personifies Destruction, after all.
- The Voiceless: Despite being the main antagonist (and being the only Daedric Prince (bar Sheogorath) that we see in the flesh), he never speaks a word in the game. Strangely, all his other appearances (Battlespire, Morrowind, Skyrim) have him speak.
- Voiced by: Wes Johnson
A Dremora that you encounter in Mankar Camoran's Paradise. He assists you in the quest by providing you with the Bands of the Chosen, should you agree to do a certain "favor" for him.
- Blood Knight: He loves fighting as much as any other Dremora. This is also why he dislikes the Ascended Immortals because they choose to flee instead of fight.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: His "favor" involves freeing an Ax-Crazy Xivilai named Anaxes, who had been imprisoned by a group of Ascended Immortals, and allowing him to continue killing his captors.
- Deadpan Snarker: If the Player chooses to fight him for the Bands instead of doing his favor, Kathutet responds with this:Kathutet: Your mind follows the simple path ... the choice of an animal. You see an enemy and you attack it, unthinking. But you have courage, at least. To slay a bold animal like you is not without glory.
- Jerkass: Being a Daedra, it's only natural for him to despise mortals.
- Large Ham: Being a Dremora, this is to be expected, but he's surprisingly subdued... sometimes.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He's not only the friendliest, but the least aggressive Dremora in the entire game.
- Noble Demon: Played straight, and since Kathutet is a Kynval (the Dremora equivalent of a knight), this is also played literally.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Punch-Clock Villain: One of the reasons he agrees to help you on your quest is because he despises Mankar Camoran as much as you do, and couldn't care less if Camoran's plans succeeded or not.
- Voice of the Legion: He has the exact same voice as the other Dremora.
- Worthy Opponent: He sees the player as this, for defeating his fellow Dremora in the siege of Kvatch, and destroying their tower. This is also the other reason he agrees to help you in your quest.Kathutet: You destroyed the Sigil Tower at Ganonah. My kin say you fought well.Player: Ganonah? I've never heard of it.Kathutet: Our clan sacked your city of Kvatch... a trifling task fit for scamps. Your swift retribution earned you much respect among my people. We had not expected that a mortal would act with such resolution and honor. It is no dishonor for us to speak.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: If you don't want to do his favor, you can just kill him, and take the Bands of the Chosen from his corpse. This can be done, even after you do his favor for him.
A Daedric race of humanoid warriors that are native to the Deadlands. They serve as the enforcers of Mehrunes Dagon during the Oblivion Crisis.
- Black Knights: Their warriors tend to wear full body armor, complete with face-concealing helmets.
- Blood Knight: They love to fight, and are extremely aggressive towards non-Daedra.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The male Dremora speak with a deep, distorted voice.
- Genius Bruiser: In addition to being physically strong, they are among the most intelligent Daedra present in the game.
- Horned Humanoid: They have horns.
- Jerkass: How they regularly behave towards mortals.
- Large and in Charge: Along with the Altmer, the Dremora are consistently the tallest race (playable or otherwise) in the game.
- Large Ham: The male Dremora are easily among the hammiest characters present in the game.
- Proud Warrior Race: They have their own Viking-esque clan system, a sense of honor in combat, and are fiercely loyal to Mehrunes Dagon.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- The Smurfette Principle: This trope hit the Dremora race very hard. Female Dremora are extremely rare, since the few females in the entire game are:
1.) Archers, which are only found inside certain Oblivion Gates. This means they can only be encountered before the "Light the Dragonfires" quest is finished.
2.) Members of the Markyn, which is the second-highest rank in Dremora society. Thus, they will only be encountered by a high-level player.
3.) There is a chance that a Kynmarcher, Valkynaz, or even a male Markynaz archer might appear in their place instead.
4.) Due to a minor oversight in the game's production, they are all completely silent, and don't even have dialogue or even audio files assigned to them; Any attempt to converse with a female Dremora will yield the infamous "I HAVE NO GREETING" message, and will make no sounds during combat.
- Spikes of Villainy: The Daedric armor they wear is covered with these.
- Voice of the Legion: Kind of a vaguely-distorted scream/growl at the top of their lungs.
Cities of Cyrodil
Citizens of the Imperial City
A Imperial Guard Captain who is extorting citizens and merchants in the city.
- Alliterative Name
- Bald of Evil
- Dirty Cop: The player can do a side quest to expose his corruption and get him arrested.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: If the player confronts him without evidence and backup from Captain Itius Hayn, he will claim the player attacked him and put an 1000 gold bounty on you.
- Too Dumb to Live: He breaks out of prison and hunts down the player for revenge. Unfortunately for him, he is wearing prison clothes and only has a iron dagger as a weapon.
A Imperial Guard Captain who has dedicated his life to hunting down and destroying the Thieves Guild.
- BFS: His weapon is a giant silver claymore.
- Big Bad: Technically for the Thieves Guild storyline, although there is never actually a confrontation with him.
- The Captain: His rank in the Imperial Guard, and later becomes captain of the Anvil City Guard after the Thieves Guild conspires to get him transferred to that city to get him off their backs. And also because the Gray Fox likes Lex and wants him to be his Guard Captain when he reclaims his position as Count of Anvil.
- The Idealist: He comes off as this because of his personal line when asked about the Imperial City in conversation, and because of the dedication he shows about eradicating the Thieves Guild despite its existence not being believed by the majority of the Imperial Legion (and commoners as well). Also, during the quest 'Imperial Corruption', if the player informs any Imperial Watch of the corrupted captain, they'll react visibly annoyed and tell the player to go talk to Hieronymus Lex, to whom they refer as "pompous full".Hieronymus Lex: Never compromise. Never blink. Never wink at injustice. Never quit trying to make this a better city for everyone.
- Meaningful Name: "Lex" is Latin for law.
- Properly Paranoid: One of the few Imperial officers who believes the Thieves Guild is even real, which makes him somewhat of an annoyance to his superiors. He is also rightly convinced that the Gray Fox is behind his reassignment to Anvil, just not for the reasons he thinks.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Well, not quite Antarctica, but Anvil isn't the primary city that the Thieves Guild operates out of. Since the Thieves Guild does not condone killing, doctoring some documents to invoke this is how they "deal" with Lex.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: He is just doing his job, and sincerely believes that the Thieves Guild is a blight on Cyrodiil.
- Worthy Opponent: The Gray Fox considers him one.
A wealthy Altmer who collects Ayleid artifacts.
- Anime Hair: Has a gravity defying haircut that resembles whipped cream.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He definitely has grand villainous aspirations, what with his plot to resurrect the Ayleid empire and take over Tamriel. Unfortunately, he fails to come off as a credible threat due to dying by your hand the moment he starts to his plans into action.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He is actually gathering the Ayleid artifacts as part of his plan to become empowered with magic through a ritual in the Ayleid city of Nenalata. He then plans to revive the Ayleid empire.
- Karmic Death: If you switch out the Crown of Nenalata for the Crown of it's rival city Lindai, as Herminia Cinna suggests, his ritual to summon the power of Nenalata backfires and he is fried by the very forces that he tried to harness.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He is not exactly supposed to be collecting all of his Ayleid artifacts, and even hires the player to steal some of them, but justifies it with the large amount of money he is paying.
Citizens of Skingrad
The Count of Skingrad. He is rarely seen in public, but is known by reputation to be a powerful wizard.
- Blessed with Suck: He gains the standard bonuses of vampirism, like increased strength and resistance, but he has to limit his public appearances and is dependant on blood to keep his secret safe.
- Boomerang Bigot: He despises other vampires, and says they gave in to their bestial instincts.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire
- Pro-Human Transhuman: Vampire or not, he's adamant about protecting his citizens from the daedra of Mehrunes Dagon.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's stated to be respected by the residents of the county and even the Mages Guild acknowledges that he has ruled Skingrad well for years without incident.
- Vampires Are Rich: Skingrad is probably the most prosperous city in Cyrodiil, not counting the Imperial City, and he himself has a large and extremely well-appointed castle.
- Note that he is something of an unusual exception in this regard. Most vampires in Cyrodiil are little better off than thieves and bandits note He even admits in one quest that other vampires are jealous of his prosperity and are drawn to prey on Skingrad because of it.
- Younger Than They Look: Due to his affliction with vampirism, his facial features make him look much older than he actually is.
An odd Wood Elf who is widely regarded and tolerated as the 'town eccentric', who makes a point of approaching the Hero of Kvatch upon their first visit to the city. He is, in truth, a very disturbed man, and is convinced that everyone is out to get him - to the point of hiring you to follow (and possibly kill) those he suspects are guilty.
- Apocalyptic Log: You can find several entries of his diary in his house of his 'investigation', and a few extra entries that change depending on your actions during his quest. Either way, it showcases his Sanity Slippage quite nicely.
- Ax-Crazy: Depending on how you resolve his quest (the aptly titled 'Paranoia'), he may go on a killing spree of all of his suspected conspirators. The fact that he keeps his axe next to his bed wasn't a good sign.
- Being Watched: Or so he thinks.
- Beware the Silly Ones: He is noted by the townspeople as 'eccentric' and 'tolerated' by the guards. In actuality, he's a few false assurances and/or rejections away from going on a rampage.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: How he is perceived generally.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: His impression of being persecuted by the other Skingrad citizens eventually proves to be nothing but the result of his paranoia. On the other hand, exploring his basement shows that he spotted the Mythic Dawn and thinks they are the most dangerous of the groups he is aware of.
- Conspiracy Theorist: The details are fuzzy from what he says, but it's very obvious that he believes himself the centre of it all, and it drives him mad.
- Irony: He is convinced that people hate him and conspire against him. Out of the three people he has you follow, one man hates him because of how creepy he is, the other man barely gives him a second thought, and the female seems to pity him and worries about him in a very endearing way.
- It's All About Me: His personal quest has you following around several townspeople all day long. If you refuse to do everything he asks, he is extremely put out by your lack of commitment. He also believes that several people are stalking him, for no apparent reason other than the fact that he is Glarthir.
- No Indoor Voice: Despite apparently trying to be covert, he practically yells his theories at you, even right after insisting you lower your voice.
- Properly Paranoid: About the Mythic dawn being the most dangerous group out of the ones he's "investigating." Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
- Sanity Slippage: He was already quite mad when you met, but no matter how you go about his quest, he will slip deeper into his paranoia and eventually order the deaths of his 'enemies' or he will set about doing it himself.
- You Have to Believe Me!: His response if you straight up tell him he's delusional. Tell him too many times, and he'll start to think you're guilty too...
- The Cutie: Especially in the eyes of Nels and Primo.
- Death by Materialism: Not as much as Matilde, but the only reason Dovesi even came to the party was to make some quick, easy money.
- Gold Digger: Her primary interest in Primo is largely because he's rich. So even if she doesn't find the treasure, she has a backup plan.
- Kill the Cutie: Enforced. She has to die in order for the player to ever leave the house.
- Replacement Goldfish: Nels tends to dote on her because she reminds him of his dead daughter.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Primo. Potentially subverted seeing as she can be persuaded to kill him.
- Asshole Victim: In case we haven't made it clear, Matilde's a racist, judgmental bitch.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Appears to be a kind, sweethearted, down-on-her-luck eldery women. She's actually a snobbish, classist racist.
- Damsel in Distress: A rare unlikeable one. There is only one person in the entire house she will attempt to kill, Dovesi. Otherwise, Matilde will simply flee and beg for help.
- Death by Materialism: She only came to the party to get more money, seeing as her fortune has long been squandered. Needless to say, she won't be leaving.
- Death by Racism: Potentially, if the player convinces Dovesi to kill her.
- Dirty Old Woman: Whenever Neville comes up.
- The Fake Cutie: Very much plays up the innocent old lady routine, often calling the player "Sweetie" or "Dearie" even. She's also a racist and very quick to judge others.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Dunmer. In fact, the only guest she will ever attempt to kill is Dovesi (the only Dunmer in the house). Also against Nords, to an extent.
- Kick the Dog: If Dovesi Dran is killed first, rather than be frightened, saddened or unnerved like the other guests, she'll express happiness knowing there's one less Dunmer in the world.
- Proper Lady: She sees herself as one, at least.
- Rich Bitch: At one point, she was rich (though she still claims to be), and she is most definitely a bitch.
- Death by Materialism: Not as much as Matilde, but the only reason Nels even came to the party was to make some quick, easy money.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Drinks to forget the fact that his daughter was murdered by bandits.
- Nice Guy: By far the most friendly, sociable person at the party.
- Only Sane Man: Even if the player gets high disposition with him, if he's the last person alive in the manor, he's the only one who figures out that the person who killed the other "contestants" could only be the player, though he only discreetly implies this to the player by advising that "They shouldn't trust each other."
- Sad Clown: Referred to as one by Primo.
- Asshole Victim: Very antagonistic of the player for no real reason.
- Death by Materialism: Not as much as Matilde, but the only reason Neville even came to the party was to make some quick, easy money.
- Death by Racism: Potentially, if the player convinces Nels to kill him.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards Nords, seeing them as little more than barbaric brutes.
- Retired Badass: He is a retired member of the Legion. He even still has his armor on hand.
- Death by Materialism: Shockingly averted. Primo only went to the party to have a fun time and couldn't care less about finding the chest of gold.
- Hidden Depths: Actually has a pretty good read on people, considering Primo sees right through Matilde's act and instantly recognizes that Nels is drinking away his pain.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed. Primo is arrogant and spoiled, but other than that he's very much a Nice Guy who treats everyone with respect and passes very little judgment on others (except Matilde, who he sees right through)
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: The entire reason he showed up at the mansion.
- Spoiled Sweet: Definitely spoiled, but still a fairly Nice Guy (especially compared to others in the mansion)
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Dovesi. Potentially subverted seeing as he can be persuaded to kill her.
Citizens of Bruma
Bruma is the northern-most city of Cyrodiil. Its architecture has a distinct Nord influence, resembling towns from the northern province of Skyrim.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: On your initial trip to the city it is apparent that over half of the buildings in the northern section of the city are locked with quest keys. There is no way to access these buildings outside of stumbling into the relevant quest which gives you the key for them.
The Countess of Bruma. A collector of Akarivi artifacts, Narina will proposition the player for help in locating more for her collection.
- Badass Bookworm: She has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Tamrielic history, and is crucial in the defense of Bruma when it comes under siege.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She readily accepts that a large Oblivion Gate has opened at her city's doorstep. She asks for help from you to gather more guards from the countryside, but is understanding if you choose to siege the Gate without additional help. Moreover, when you agree to travel the Serpent's Tail to discover the Pale Pass, she reveals that she has already sent troops ahead to scout the land for you. A little redundant given that the game uses a quest marker to direct players, but the sentiment is appreciated nonetheless.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Narina takes the initiative to find the player for quests; a switch from the traditional role most players have in seeking out potential quest-givers.
Citizens of Bravil
The Count of Bravil. A former champion of the Imperial Arena, he grew up to be a drunkard and general ne'er-do-well. He and his city are looked down upon by the other counts.—-
Citizens of Leyawiin
The Countess of Leyawiin, recently married to Count Marius Caro. She is the daughter of Countess Ariana Valga of Chorrol and detests Argonians, Khajiit and Dark Elves.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's described as a dutiful wife and pious churchgoer... but is in fact a racist who goes so far as to torture Argonian prisoners in her cellar.
- Butt-Monkey: Is the target of theft in one quest and subjected to having her party crashed and clothes stripped off to humor Sanguine in another.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: She regularly visits her mother in Chorrol.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Has a lot in common with Delphine Lalaurie, though it may not have been intentional.
- Proper Lady: Supposed to be one. The in-game loading screens describe her as "lovely and cultivated" and she's known to pay visits to her mother and the chapel regularly. Sanguine describes her castle as a "dull, dreary place".
The Count of Leyawiin and husband of Alessia Caro. He's the one that you receive quests from.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He shows none of his wife's racism. He hates criminals, though, and will put out a bounty in the Black Bow Bandits for any of their bows that you bring back.
Citizens of Anvil
The Countess of Anvil, whose husband, Corvus, vanished mysteriously ten years ago, leaving her in control of his lands.
- Not So Stoic: When her husband, Corvus, the Grey Fox, returns to her and breaks Nocturnal's curse.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is one of the more gentle rulers of Cyrodill. She openly admits everyone is welcome at her castle, as long as they behave and several lower class workers of Anvil even tell you the countess takes time to personally great them.
Citizens of Cheydinhal
A north-eastern city in Cyrodiil located at the foot of the Jerall Mountains. Cheydinhal is the embark point for many players scouring the north-east and far eastern portions of the map.
- Ghost Town: Played with. Most of Cheydinhal's population comes from guilds or are locked inside buildings that are not immediately accessible to the player, making it seem like the town is nigh uninhabited. Not counting Guilds, the Dark Brotherhood, or Quest-only citizen, the town only has a population of 23.
The Count of Cheydinhal and the only non-Imperial among them. His son is something of a Miles Gloriosus who tries to close an Oblivion Gate and goes missing. He's also rumored to have had his wife killed twenty years ago.
- Nepotism: Accused by Countess Caro of having gotten his appointment due to his connections to King Helseth and Queen Mother Barenziah of Morrowind. Not exactly a reliable source, though, considering her racism.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Played with. The loading screens indicate that he's taking bribes from the Dark Brotherhood to keep quiet about their presence in his town, but knowing them they didn't give him much choice in the matter.
- Twofer Token Minority/Token Nonhuman: The sole non-Imperial among the counts of Cyrodiil, and a Dunmer rather than a human.
Son of Andel and the leader of the Knights of the Thorne. The Hero of Kvatch has to rescue him and his companions from an Oblivion Gate that opens up outside the city.
- Glory Seeker
- Leeroy Jenkins: Charges into an Oblivion gate and promptly gets most of his friends killed.
- Indeed, he has very little concern for his own life if he comes with you into the tower and will almost certainly die. The least frustrating method for getting him home alive is to completely avoid him by using a water walking enchantment to cross the lava and avoid the bridge he's on. That way he stays safely on the bridge outside while you close the gate yourself. And the reward for keeping him alive is definitely worth it.
- Lord Error-Prone: Likes to make boasts about the great accomplishments he and the Knights of the Thorne have done, but they are all very silly or exaggerated. The townspeople note that he is never around when something big is actually going on, and that he and the other knights spend most of their time drinking.
Citizens of Chorrol
A north-western city in Cyrodiil located between the Great Forest of west Cyrodiil and the Colovian Highlands of the Hammerfell border. Its proximity with the Weynon Priory makes it the second most likely city to be visited by a player sticking to the Main Quest, right after the Imperial City itself.
Citizens of Kvatch
An impressive city in the hinterland of the Gold Coast of Cyrodiil, located between Anvil and Skingrad. It is built atop a large bluff, raising the city above the surrounding forests.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: Only a handful of citizens and guards survived the attack. Everybody else is dead, including Jiub, who was living there at the time, and the Count Ormellius Goldwine, whom the remaining city guards were trying to save.
- Late to the Tragedy: Even if you sprint all the way to Kvatch as soon as you leave the Imperial Prison, the city will already be in ruins and overrun by Daedra by the time you make it there.
The ruling Count of Kvatch. He gets trapped within his own castle during the Daedra attack, and rescuing him will be necessary if you want Kvatch to help you fight the Daedra when they later attack Bruma.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: You have to take his ring from his dead body and return it to Savlian Matius to complete the quest The Battle for Castle Kvatch.
- Purple Is Powerful: He wears a black & burgundy outfit, which is the closest any noble other than the Emperor himself gets to playing this trope right.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: After successfully storming the castle and killing every Daedra inside, you will find Count Goldwine lying dead in a pool of his own blood. If only you'd gotten here sooner...
Cyrodiil Guilds and Factions
Fighters Guild characters
- Voiced by: Craig Sechler
Champion of Chorrol's Fighters Guild.
- Voiced by: Craig Sechler
A fellow guild member who often refuses contracts, due to their danger and low pay.
- Dirty Coward: Runs away from Fighters Guild contracts at first. Later on, he defects to the Blackwood Company, another band of mercenaries who use less legal means to get what they want. And he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Oh dear... sometimes, the game doesn't remove him from the Fighters Guild properly when he joins the Blackwood Company. When you kill him at the end of the quest, you will be expelled from the guild for killing a fellow guild member, despite the fact he went hostile towards you. There are very few ways around this- either go outside and let a city guard kill him, or use the console to reset your guild murder status to avoid expulsion. It's not known what causes this... certain game mods may interfere with scripts, but it's also known to happen in an unmodded game for some players.
- I Have a Family: One of his excuses for defaulting on contracts.
- FaceHeel Turn: Joins the Blackwood Company.
- Voiced by: Catherine Flye
The Guildmaster of the Fighters Guild.
- A Father to His Men: A deconstruction. She's a doting and overprotective mother, which affects her judgement.
- Da Chief
- Reasonable Authority Figure: After realizing her faults in being too overprotective towards guild members, and your actions in saving the guild, she immediately names you Guildmaster and retires herself, knowing you would do a far better job in leading the guild.
- Voiced by: Wes Johnson
The Guildmaster's son.
- BFS: His Weapon of Choice is a two-handed sword
- Leeroy Jenkins: In practice and on paper.
- The Load: During an early Escort Mission with him, he is invincible since he as a Plotline Death to suffer later, but his tendency to get knocked out rather quickly gets old fast.
- My Beloved Smother: He loves his mother dearly, but expresses frustration at her refusal to send him out any missions since his older brother's death.
- Plotline Death: He suffers a rather unceremonious death offscreen late in the questline.
- Sacrificial Lion: At the hands of the Sap-Berserk Blackwood Company Men.
- Straight Gay: Some of his diary entries very heavily imply he and another man in the Guild are having an affair.
Mages Guild characters
- Voiced by: Ralph Cosham
The Archmage of the Mages Guild and responsible for the banning of Necromancy.
- The Archmage: Naturally.
- Big Good: Of the Mages Guild questline.
- Cool Old Guy: An old but badass Archmage.
- Fate Worse than Death: Places himself in a huge Soul Gem, which are known for this. If you've played Battlespire or the Dawnguard quests in Skyrim, you find out he'll be trapped in the Soul Cairn for all eternity.
- General Ripper: Has a grudge against necromancy. Turns out, he's right.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Places his soul in the Colossal Black Soul Gem so Mannimarco can't take The Prisoner's soul.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: An Archmage who makes an Heroic Sacrifice.
- Non-Action Guy: He doesn't do much (at least until his Heroic Sacrifice).
- Voiced by: Catherien Flye
The rather inept head of Bruma's Mages Guild. Often the victim of pranks set up by the other guild members.
- Voiced by: Wes Johnson
An Imperial Master Wizard at the Arcane University in the Imperial City. He handles much of the Guild's administrative issues.
- Nice Guy: Never shows any animosity or condescending behavior to the player, unless the player breaks Mages Guild rules.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is Traven's second in command, but never abuses this position or acts haughtily because of it.
- Sole Survivor: He is the only member of the Council of Mages to survive the war with the Necromancers.
- Voiced by: Craig Sechler
Villain from Daggerfall, returning as the Big Bad of the Mages Guild questline
- Animate Dead: The Staff of Worms reanimates fallen enemies. Naturally, this includes Mannimarco himself.
- Big Bad: Of the Mages Guild quest line.
- Informed Ability: Said to be nearly invincible, but is only slightly more powerful than the average necromancer.
- Necromancer: He is the leader of the Order of the Black Worms, after all.
- Our Liches Are Different: He is the first lich of Tamriel.
- The Worf Effect: When the player finally faces him, he appears to be a typical Altmer mage in some regular necromancer robes. Compare this to his appearance in Daggerfall, where he was a menacing hooded figure with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- What Is Evil?: He claims that good and evil are "manifestations of the same thing".
- Voiced by: Wes Johnson
A Imperial Master Wizard on the Council of Mages. He is a researcher specializing in Ayleid history and authored the book "Magic from the Sky".
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Implied to be one until he became a member of the Council
- Voiced by: Linda Canyon
An Altmer Wizard on the Council of Mages.
- Insufferable Genius
- The Mole: She is a Necromancer and secretly serves Mannimarco. She steals the Necromancer's Amulet from the Mages Guild to give it to him, but gets killed by the Hero of Kvatch before she can deliver it.
- Mood-Swinger: Goes back and forth between "If you need anything, I'll be happy to help," and "I'm too important for you!"
Thieves Guild characters
- Voiced by: Wes Johnson
The mysterious head of the Thieves Guild.
- Awesome Mc Coolname/Meaningful Name: Corvus Umbranox roughly translates as 'Raven Shadownight'. All three are evocative of symbology of Nocturnal, Daedric Prince of night, shadow, and thieves.
- Catchphrase: "Capital!"
- Darkness Von Gothick Name: Again, Raven Shadownight is only slightly less cool and edgy than the actual Trope Namer.
- Just Like Robin Hood: The beggars of the Imperial City are all under his protection. In return, they serve as his spies.
- Legacy Character: The Gray Fox is merely an identity magically assumed by the person who wears the cowl. It's stated that there were numerous other "Gray Foxes" over the years, creating the illusion of him being immortal.
- Ret Gone: The cursed cowl he's forced to wear makes all traces of his existence vanish, even if he goes right up and reveals his identity to someone (which he apparently did to both his wife and you, but the curse pretty much erased that from history). He's always simply "a stranger".
- Secret Identity: Count Corvus Umbranox.
- Shrouded in Myth: Mostly due to him supposedly living for over 300 years (because the cowl's curse makes it seem as if the same person has always been The Gray Fox, no matter how different each Fox is from the last).
Dark Brotherhood characters
- Voiced by: Wes Johnson
Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood.
- Affably Evil: For an amoral and psychotic killer, he can be quite the charmer.
- Alliterative Name: Lucien Lachance.
- Card-Carrying Villain
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He did not have an easy passing, judging from his corpse mutilated beyond recognition, since his genitals and jaws were removed and his ribs were exposed. What is more, its rumored that one of the Black Hand may have eaten their entrails.
- Dead Guy on Display: By the time you find his corpse, it has been suspended upside down for everyone to see in its macabre glory.
- Expy: In Skyrim he's essentially, an evil version of Obi-Wan Kenobi. He even says "I sense a great disturbance in the void!"
- In the Hood: Like most member of the Black Hand.
- Large Ham: Even in comparison to other Imperials.
- Laser-Guided Karma: His first quest is murdering an old man, Rufio, in his sleep. Later on, he orders you to slaughter the entire Cheydinhal Sanctuary believing one of them to be the traitor, not caring that two members see him as a father figure and gives you a scroll allowing to use the ghost of Rufio as a weapon against them. Near the end of the questline he is murdered and tortured by his fellow members of the Black Hand thinking HE is the traitor (they show no remorse or regret about it even after learning of their mistake). Skyrim then reveals that his ghost has been made into a 'spectral assassin' for promising members to use as a weapon. That the actual traitor was a man he personnally promoted to Silencer despite being violently insane and Lucien himself having carried out the assassination of the man's mother when he was a child in front of his eyes is just cold, dark icing on the poisonous cake.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To you, interestingly enough. After he realizes you've been going around systematically killing his fellow members of the Black Hand, he sets off to kill you in turn, but the moment he catches up to you, Lucien quickly deduces that you've been duped as well, and instead decides to work with you in figuring out who the real traitor is.
- Stuffed in the Fridge: Doubling as a Player Punch to many.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has quite an epic one near the end of the Dark Brotherhood storyline when he realizes that he's been set up.
- Affably Evil: Almost without exception. It's just how the Brotherhood conducts its affairs.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Antoinetta looks like the most innocent member of the group with her appearance invoking Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold, but her blood thirst is made clear during dialogue as well as her ambitious disposition.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Some of its members.
- Before contracting vampirism, Vicente lost his father and mother at early age to a wolf that infected them with rockjoint.
- Taelandril's father ordered a hit on her before she arranged for Lucien to kill him in return.
- Antoinetta suffered a horrible life as a homeless and is said to have been abused by the city guards, possibly sexually.
- Dumb Muscle: Gogron, who gets a shout-out to Lenny from Of Mice and Men in his backstory. Hell, he admits to not even know who or what Sithis is, but he will obey the Five Tenets and the contracts regardless.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: The lineup consists of a vampire, two Argonians, a Khajiit, an Orc, a Wood Elf (the last two of which are sleeping together) and a Breton, diversity that would make any other guild hang its head in shame. And that's all in one Sanctuary, too! Outside of there, you can find two Imperials, a High Elf, a Nord, another Khajiit, an Argonian, two Dark Elves, another Breton, and another Wood Elf, who's the leader of the whole Brotherhood.
- Et Tu, Brute?: They will react this way, specially Vicente, when you purge the Cheydinhal's Sanctuary.
- Five-Man Band:
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Vicente Valtieri and Ocheeva. Ocheeva's the nominal head but Vicente hands out assignments too and, being a vampire and all, is significantly more formidable.
- The Dragon: Teinavaa, Ocheeva's brother.
- Evil Genius: Mraaj-Dar.
- The Brute: Gogron Gro-Bolmog.
- Dark Chick: Antoinetta Marie.
- Sixth Ranger: Taelandril, who spends a lot of time on deep-cover reconnaissance. And The Prisoner, if they join.
- Team Pet: Schemer the rat and the Dark Guardian.
- Hate at First Sight: Mraaj-Dar will despise you the moment he lays his eyes on you and he won't be any kinder if you are Khajiit yourself. He does warm up just before the Purification happens.
- Highly Visible Ninja: Gogron's too big and clumsy for sneaking, and too unsubtle to care. He just kills anything between him and his target, even forgoing the Brotherhood's trademark Shrouded Armour to help him do so.
- Interspecies Romance: It's implied that Gogron and Taelandril are in a relationship.
- Jerkass: Mraaj-Dar, who's consistently rude to you until you enter the Sanctuary with orders to kill him.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Antoinetta Marie had a miserable life until she was welcomed into the Brotherhood, but now she's terrifyingly chirpy about killing large numbers of people.
- Have you heard the tale of Mathieu Bellamont and the great treachery of Cheydinhal? Kill a boy's mother, and vengeance festers in the son...The Spectral Assassin Lucien Lachance, SkyrimVoiced by: Ralph Cosham
- Ax-Crazy: He kills his lover, a member of the Dark Brotherhood herself, after she learned at least part of the truth of his insanity and his attachment to his dead mother's head. In his own words, there wasn't enough left of her for any one to find. He then proceeds to kill most of the Brotherhood and has an unhealthy obsession with the color red.
- Big Bad: Of the Dark Brotherhood questline.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Killed the entire crew of the Serpent's Wake ship for an insult.
- Expy: To Norman Bates, since they are both deranged murderers obsessed with their long dead mothers.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He was in love with a fellow Dark Brotherhood member named Maria and was actually hoping to build a real family with her. Tragically, she rejected him after hearing his real plans, causing him to snap and brutally murder and mutilate her beyond recognition. Its also implied he is in love with Antoinette since he might have sent the anonymous letter warning her to leave the sanctuary as the purification is about to begin.
- Evil vs. Evil: Seeks revenge against an amoral death cult that killed his mother, but he is not at all much better than them.
- Freudian Excuse: His father was an abuser who summoned the Dark Brotherhood to assassinate his wife, and had Lucien Lachance murder her before Mathieu's eyes. No wonder he is so screwed up.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Heavily implied, since his hideout is littered with body parts and there is nothing else left to eat.
- Manipulative Bastard: He arranges the deaths of several members of the Brotherhood by setting them up against the other,
- Pyrrhic Villainy: Though he is unable to destroy the Night Mother, he manages to get his revenge on Lucen Lachance and kill several Dark Brotherhood members. But he dies shortly after being exposed, and as it turns out, he was nothing but a pawn of the Night Mother herself who foresaw his plan from the beginning, but allowed him to carry it out in order to cull the Brotherhood of any weak members.
- Room Full of Crazy: Lives in one.
- Unwitting Pawn: In the end, he was this to the Night Mother, who allowed Bellamont to carry out his plan in order to teach the Black Hand a lesson about treachery.
- You Killed My Father: Motivated to destroy the Dark Brotherhood in revenge for Lucien killing his mother.
- Five-Man Band: invoked and enforced, by always having five members.
- Big Bad: Ungolim, the Listener. Also, the Night Mother.
- The Dragon: Arquen, a Speaker who leads the other Speakers toward the end of the quest line. Also, every member of the Black Hand has their own personal Silencer. Shaleez and Havilstein Hoar-Blood are two of them, as are two of the three Speakers at the end.
- Evil Genius: Alval Uvani, a Speaker and master of Destruction Magic.
- The Brute: J'Ghasta, a Speaker and Hand-To-Hand master.
- The Chick/Dark Chick: Belisarius Arius and Banus Alor, Speakers at endgame who are both killed without a fight.
- The Heart: Lucien Lachance could be an evil one; after he loses control, almost everyone ends up dying.
- Voiced by: Michael Mack
The Arena's Redguard Blademaster, who sorts out matches and new competitors.
- Badass Beard
- Berserk Button: He threatens to "rip your damn liver out" if you wrong Ysabel in any way.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tends to get very snarky at times. "I heard a rumour that you're an idiot. Any truth to that?", "Try not to die when the gate opens!". He tones it down as you advance up in ranks, however.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: You could be the Champion of Cyrodiil and he will treat you like you're some overconfident civilian with no combat skill whatsoever. Justified: might be his way of pushing you to do better and impress him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although he's rather abrasive to new fighters, he does show respect to you as you raise through the ranks, and he's genuinely concerned for his daughter.
- Scary Black Man: Early on, he's pretty mean, but becomes friendlier as you gain fame in the Arena.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: According to a note in the Bloodworks, he has an illegitimate daughter. The end of her note reads:All I want, all I ever wanted, was to make you proud. Your loving daughter, Branwyn
- Voiced by: Jonathan Bryce
The Champion of the Arena, rumored to be a "Half-Orc".
- Dhampyr: With an orc and an Imperial (the latter being the vampire), oddly enough.
- Half-Human Hybrid: It's public knowledge that only his mother was an Orc. We can learn from his quest that his father was an Imperial. He was also a vampire, less pleasantly.
- Nice Guy: You wouldn't expect the grand champion of a Blood Sport to be such a friendly guy, until he learns the truth about his past at least.
- Suicide by Cop: If you do the sidequest where he learns of his heritage, he won't even attack when you fight him for the title, and if you kill him, the Dark Brotherhood comes to you if you haven't joined yet, counting it as murder even if the rest of society doesn't. He does defend himself eventually if the fight drags on too long, saying "I don't care about my heritage! I won't die like a beast!"
- Undeathly Pallor: His skin is tinged grey, instead of the usual Orcish green. It seems to be the only real side effect of being a Dhampyr.
- Voiced by: Lynda Carter
The sub-champion of the arena and likely leader of said team.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: No matter in which rank you are, she will always have something menacing or condescending to say
- Brawnhilda: Big, strong and rough looking as expected from a nord.
- No Name Given: oddly enough despite being the second best fighter of the arena.
- Fiery Redhead: Has a bright orange mane.
- Flunky Boss: During your fight against her she is aided by two teammates.
- Voiced by: Craig Sechler
A small wood elf fan the player gains after becoming the Grand Champion of the Arena, who can follow you around and worship you.
- And I Must Scream: It is possible to put him through this if you take him inside an Oblivion Gate, then leave him there. His respawn script will still run, but he's trapped in whatever version of Oblivion you left him in, meaning he is trapped in a realm where Everything Is Trying to Kill You. Reviving every three days. Forever.
- Anime Hair: His bright yellow "Hershey Kiss" shaped hair (as the Strategy Guide describes it) is his most noticeable physical trait.
- Bumbling Sidekick
- Butt-Monkey: Many a fan has taken pleasure in tossing him off a mountain, among other deaths.
- Catchphrase: "By Azura! By Azura! By Azura!"
- The Chew Toy: His lack of armour, poor base HP, tendency to run away and his over-all annoying demeanour have rendered him one both in and out of universe.
- Cowardly Sidekick: He tends to run away at the smallest of threats (we're talking Mudcrabs, here).
- Fan Nickname: "The Annoying Fan", to the point that most videos about killing, injuring or otherwise humiliating him will label him as such.
- Hero-Worshipper: He says as much during his opening spiel, mentioning "worshipping the very ground you walk on".
- Joke Character: Though he'll follow you anywhere (even into Oblivion), he'll run away when you get into a fight.
- Mythology Gag: Seems to have become one for Bethesda, with an identically-voiced expy named Sticky appearing in Fallout 3. In Skyrim, a passing reference is made to a past Arena Champion who was murdered by a supposed 'Adoring Fan', in reality a member of the Dark Brotherhood.
- Not Completely Useless: As annoying as he can be, he does take out a torch whenever it gets dark, freeing up a hand for the player. Of course, there's still the issue of him running away, which can be remedied with a Rally spell.
- Sour Supporter: He can be. If you lower the Adoring Fan's disposition enough — training up your pickpocketing skill on him will do the trick — he'll constantly sneer at you.
- They Killed Kenny Again: He respawns if he dies, leading players to find hundreds of creative ways to kill him, only for him to reappear by the Arena in three days, still worshipping the ground you walk on.
A boar that lives in a cage in the Bloodworks. Owyn releases him into the arena to help you win the Blue Team Championship match.
A mercenary company that is making competition for the Fighters Guild.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Fighters Guild.
- Expy: Most likely named after the Blackwater mercenary company.
- Psycho Serum: The source of their power, the Hist Sap, turns those that drink it into raging berserkers. This affects even the Argonian Blackwood mercenaries (and the player if they are also an Argonian) because the process used to transplant the Blackwood Company's Hist Tree from Black Marsh to Cyrodiil has corrupted and perverted the tree and it's Sap.
- Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: A mercenary company instead of a criminal syndicate, but the same sentiment is there. They're an organization rooted in Black Marsh primarily (and proudly) made up of Argonians and Khajiit in direct competition with the native Fighter's Guild, and they are known to be unscrupulous with regards to both the contracts they will accept and the methods they go about completing them.
- Bounty Hunter: Effectively what they are, given they hunt the Black Bow Bandits to bring back the bows for money.
An order of Vampire Hunters set up in the Imperial city. When completing their quest, they can be a large source of gold for the player.
- Captain Oblivious: While claiming to be vampire hunters dedicated on protecting the Imperial City from vampires, they seem to do an awful job at it, since two vampires live among the citizenry of the Imperial City, while an entire nest of them can be found in the sewers of the Arena District of the city. There is a bit of Fridge Brilliance here, since this faction is formed and led by the vampire Seridur as some sort of cover operation. He is probably keeping his group members in the dark to protect his kin.
- Get Rich Quick Scheme: They can easily become this if you solve their quest in the best way possible. If you do, you can sell Vampire Dust to them for exactly 250 gold, which is normally valued at 50 gold, not factoring in Mercantile skill. Add the fact that Vampire Dust is easily found, which makes it very easy for players to get rich.
- Vampire Hunter: An organization of them, and you can join if you complete their quest. Even if you're a vampire at the time.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: They do genuinely mean well, but the group (under Seridur's rule) is very pragmatic in approach. Don't even seem to consider that some vampires aren't compulsive killers; they jump on a lead, no matter how little evidence there is.
- You Are What You Hate: The PC can invoke this on themselves, as it is possible to join even if they're a vampire at the time. Then again, they were completely oblivious about Seridur, so it's plausible that they don't figure you out.
- Voiced By: Jonathan Bryce
A Khajiit monk who runs around Cyrodill. When spoken to, he voices the opinion of the creators towards the Unpleasable Fanbase. Mostly in a very cryptic way of talking.
For more information on M'aiq outside of the context of Oblivion itself, see his entry on the Elder Scrolls Recurring Characters page.
- Author Avatar: He directly voices the opinion of the game's creators.
- Catchphrase: "M'aiq knows much, tells some. M'aiq knows many things others do not."
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He comes over as very detached from the setting. Logical, since he's something of a literal Author Avatar. His behavior is pretty odd, too: he often enters ruins and caves to search for calipers for 5 hours (which has likely startled some players), enters Valenwood along his route between Anvil and Leywiin, and has been known to occasionally chase deer.
- Deadpan Snarker: Some of his speeches are very sarcastic.
- Easter Egg: As a Meta Guy Fourth-Wall Observer who runs randomly around Cyrodiil. It's entirely possible to play for hundreds of hours without running into him, and his dialogue is mostly just for fun.
- Legacy Character: There was also a Khajiit with his name in Morrowind, and 200 years later in Skyrim. Though Morrowind only takes place six years before Oblivion, so it could very well be the same guy. This is strongly hinted at when he comments on how he misses the hat he wore in Morrowind.
- Self-Deprecation: Some of his comments mock features of previous games.
- Super Speed: He starts with a maxed-out Athletics stat, meaning he is nearly impossible to keep up with until later levels.
- Take That!: One of his comments is: "People always enjoy a good fable. M'aiq has yet to find one, though. Maybe some day." This is a Take That to the similar rival game, Fable.
- Take That, Audience!: Just about every speech he makes is a reaction the makers have about an aspect of the game fans aren't pleased about. An example is the fact throwing weapons are removed. M'aiq responds to this by saying that if people hold their weapon, they only need one.
- Walking the Earth: He moves along the Gold Road and Green Road (spanning the distance between Anvil and Leyawiin) constantly, only stopping at each town for a day or so before running off on his journey again. He will only eat if food is dropped nearby, and if he is the same M'aiq as the one in Morrowind, who knows how many of the provinces of Tamriel he was wandered in his lifetime.
- Voiced by: Craig Sechler
A rude Dunmer prisoner who occupies the cell opposite yours at the start of the game. Despite only appearing once (or twice, if you join the Dark Brotherhood), he sticks in many players' minds, if anything because he spends his meagre amount of screen-time slinging racist and sexist slurs at you.
- Dirty Coward: He will yell for help as soon as it becomes obvious you're there to kill him.
- Ironic Echo: You have the opportunity to throw his closing line ("You're going to die in here!") back at him when you arrive to murder him for the Dark Brotherhood.
- Jerkass: He is the first character met in the game, and will mock your character based on their race and sex no matter what it is (even if one is a Dark Elf like him, he will proposition you if female, or threaten to seduce your wife when he gets out if male). This makes it very satisfying to kill him during the Dark Brotherhood questline.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: If you play as a Female Dunmer, he starts off seeming like he's genuinely complimenting you and trying to soothe you... then it veers into him basically saying he wants to cash in his favor with a guard so he can be in your cell for untoward purposes until your execution. This makes killing him in the Dark Brotherhood questline very satisfying.
- Smug Snake: When he first talks to you, he is very confident that he will be getting out soon, but you are here for life. Cue the Emperor's (plus elite guard) arrival, here to take a secret escape route through your cell. The fact that you are later ordered to kill him makes it even more deliciously ironic.
Appearing in Oblivion Add-ons:
Shivering Isles characters
- Voiced By: Wes Johnson
Daedric Prince of Madness.
- Badass Beard: In fact, beards more badass than his are outlawed in the Shivering Isles on pain of death.
- Big Good: For a given level of good, of the Shivering Isles expansion.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Like many of the Daedric Princes, Sheogorath does not function under the typical good or evil morality most mortals live under. In particular: Being the Prince of Madness himself, he admires madness in any form and does not care whether said madness becomes dangerous to other people. He also likes to pull pranks on unsuspecting mortals on Nirn, just because he thinks it's fun. Said pranks can really make the victim's life a living hell. However, while this does sound evil, he does really care for the denizens of his realm and tries everything in his power to stop his realm and people from being destroyed during the Greymarch.
- Brain Food: "Care to donate?"
- Crazy Awesome: In-Universe. He's the god of this trope.
- Crazy-Prepared: If you do his daedric quest after the main story for the Shivering Isles, Haskill will reveal he had the final part of the plan to trick the town of Border Watch for a long while but couldn't find a mortal to perform the task.
- Elderly Immortal: Although he can change his form at will and has freely adjusted his hair color, eyes and apparent age in other portrayals.
- Great Gazoo: Particularly when he makes flaming dogs fall out of the sky.
- For the Evulz: His various pranks seen in Nirn have no motivation other than that they amuse him, despite utterly destroying the live of the victim(s). A good example is having a mortal reenact the apocalyptic K'Sharra prophecy in a small supposititious Khajiit community. Just because the idea of a settlement of hysterical Khajiit was amusing to him.
- Large Ham: "CHEEEESE! For everyone!"
- Mad God: One of his many names and his main role.
- Nice to the Waiter: Played with. Sheogorath happily encourages the player character to do things like repeatedly and unnecessarily summon his eternally put upon chamberlain, insisting that Haskill "loves it" and doesn't feel appreciated otherwise. On the other hand, he also regularly praises Haskill's intelligence, loyalty and fashion sense, referring to him as dear and a friend. Sheogorath is also surprisingly slow to punish another character who openly promises to betray him, and genuinely fond of his Realm and its inhabitants. Not that any of this in any way negates him also being ultimately inhuman and unspeakably dangerous.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Sheogorath stops all joking, overreacting and non-sequiturs just before his transformation into Jyggalag. He's not Jyggalag yet, though, meaning that his despair over the fate of the Isles and his apparent failure to save them is genuine.
- Silver Fox: There are several characters of both sexes scattered around Cyrodiil and the Isles (but mostly the Isles) that get a little fluttery over the Madgod.
- Talkative Loon: Every time you talk to him to report you finished a quest, he'll just start a sequence of countless strange unrelated remarks.
- Tranquil Fury: If you raise your weapon against him, he stands, uses Paralysis magic on you, then teleports you away to a spot several hundred feet in the air- letting gravity finish the job - with the most terrifyingly calm expression.
- What Beautiful Eyes! / Hellish Pupils: By all appearances a normal-seeming and handsome older gentleman with odd fashion sense... except for his eyes, which are black with yellow irises.
- He shares an eye model with the Mania-side soldiers known as the Golden Saints, which may be confirmed in the game's Construction Set. Assorted hints such as the existence of dual torches for the Flame of Agnon, a loading screen referring to Mania and Dementia as factions with one or the other "currently" in favor at any given time, and Sheogorath's palace being located significantly to the Mania side of the Isles' dividing line (visible from a high enough vantage point outside the city) appear to imply that he favors his Mania side during the events of the DLC. Hence the eye color favoritism.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: An interesting take in that Sheogorath isn't the one trying to destroy the Shivering Isle but his other self Jyggalag. The Woobie part is made very clear just before Sheogorath becomes Jyggalag and he seems very sorrowful that his beautiful isle is about to be destroyed again. It's more than a little sad to realize that Jyggalag must suffer as the god of madness, the very thing he dispises, and Sheogorath must suffer the grief of constantly seeing his home destroyed and have to rebuild it knowing that it's just going to get destroyed again.
- Voiced By: Jeff Baker
Sheogorath's long-suffering chamberlain.
- Ambiguously Human: His character by all appearances is an elderly Breton with a dour fashion sense. But given hints from his dialogue and outside sources all but confirm that he's actually a daedra. The official website lists his race as "Daedric Breton".
- Berserk Button: Mehrunes Dagon specifically and mortals oversimplifying the politics of Oblivion in general. During the interview mentioned in the elderly immortal entry below, a question that touches both of these drives Haskill into a rant he describes as "excessive".
- Blue and Orange Morality: Casually refers to decency and morality as "provincial notions." It's a daedric realm, after all.
- Elderly Immortal: Bethesda's Interview With Two Denizens of the Shivering Isles reveals that he has been serving his master since "the beginning." Despite this he appears in the form of an aging Breton.
- Happiness in Slavery: Combines elements of type 1 and type 3, especially since he's generally implied to be a lesser daedra. (While Sheogorath is shown to be a troublesome, stressful and generally obnoxious creature to work for, he is never shown to outright mistreat Haskill enough to warrant a type 2 label.)
- Interspecies Friendship: His attitude towards the player character improves greatly over the course of the game. Although at the end of the storyline the "interspecies" part becomes questionable and rather complicated.
- Nerves of Steel: Considering where he lives and who he works for, likely a result of Seen It All.
- Not So Invincible After All: One remarkable feature about Haskill is that you cannot hurt him. Your weapons and your spells will go right through him with no effect; it appears he's immune to all damage. EXCEPT that he is vulnerable to environmental damage. So, if you were to, say, summon him right under a pile of falling rocks, he can take a hit.
- Subverted in that he has an insanely powerful healing spell and even if that fails, he's still tagged by the game as unkillable.
- Old Retainer: Though a fantasy version in which both servant and master are immortal and the "several generations" parts do not apply.
- Only Sane Man / Only Sane Employee / Crazy Sane: In the Realm of Madness. He bears it with a patient but long-suffering air. However, given that everyone in the Shivering Isles is insane then by that setting, Haskill would be the crazy one because he's in the minority and that reacting to the realm of personified madness with sanity could in and of itself be crazy.
- Shivering Isles lead designer Mark Nelson has explicitly described the character as "probably nuts too - but you're not exactly sure how or why".
- Servile Snarker
- Stiff Upper Lip: Although he can be snappy or a bit gloomy about it, and immediately after Sheogorath "dies" to become Jyggalag his script notes in the game engine state that he "Regains composure and ressumes his character." So it's not quite 100%.
- The Jeeves
- The Reliable One
- Undying Loyalty: To his master, behind the sarcasm. Sheogorath describes him as "Faithful like a good hound, that one."
Daedric Prince of Order.
- Big Bad: Of the Shivering Isles expansion.
- Boring, but Practical: Befitting for him, his Daedric Artifact is this compared to the others. It's essentially a giant sword that has no enchantments whatsoever but that's all that Jyggalag really needs.
- Irony: Jyggalag's spheres of influence include logic and deduction, but he is not one for strategy and subterfuge compared to brute force as noted by Sheogorath.
- Order Versus Chaos: Actually the god of all order. His ability to maintain order at all times made him a huge threat to the other Daedric Princes, who banded together to put a curse on him, giving him the split personality of Sheogorath and thus becoming his own worst enemy.
- Tin Tyrant: More like Crystal Tyrant, as he looks like a giant crystal knight.
- Faceless Mooks: The Knights of Order are this.
- FaceHeel Turn: Seeing as the Priests of Order are of races from Nirn, it can be assumed they were previous denizens of Nirn or the Isles defecting to Jyggalag. The noble you don't assassinate during the Ritual of Ascension is one of many who defect over
- King Mook: An inversion. They're essentially smaller and weaker versions of the prince they serve.
- Mook Maker: The Priests of Order can activate certain obelisks which create a constant flow of Knights of Order.
- Starfish Language: The Knights of Order aren't able to talk and instead communicate through sounds resembling a high pitched roar.
- Zerg Rush: Jyggalag's go to means of invasion is to use swarms of Knights.
The two humanoid Daedric races that are native to the Shivering Isles. They both serve as Sheogorath's warriors, and protect the Shivering Isles from hostile forces.
- Amazon Brigade: The majority of both races are female, and prove to be incredibly fierce warriors.
- Bare Your Midriff: The Dark Seducers.
- Blood Knight: The Golden Saints are considerably more aggressive than the Dark Seducers, especially in combat against the latter.
- Can't Argue with Elves: The Golden Saints treat all mortals that inhabit the Shivering Isles, and even their own male counterparts as completely inferior beings, and make no attempt to hide this in their interactions.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Dark Seducers, which are actually more polite towards mortals than the Golden Saints. Then again, considering that they serve the side of the Isles that favors secrets, cruelty and treachery, it may not be in one's best interests to take them at face value.
- Keystone Army: If the Wellsprings in Brellach and Pinnacle Rock, which are the only things keeping the Golden Saints and Dark Seducers respectively connected to Sheogorath's realm stop flowing, then not only are the members of that respective species unable to return to the Shivering Isles after having their souls banished, but the members that are already in that realm instantaneously fall over dead and their bodies turn to stone. However, they do come back to life if the Wellspring is restored.
- Light Is Not Good: Despite their name, Golden Saints are anything but saintly. More broadly, canon states that no daedric entity can truly be classed as good or evil.
- Proud Warrior Race: Almost as much as the Dremora.
- Statuesque Stunner: All of the female Saints and Seducers are not only tall and attractive, but also as physically strong in appearance as Dremora.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The males of both races are roughly the same height as Imperials, while the females are equivalent in height to the Altmer and Dremora, which are consistently the tallest races (playable or otherwise) in the game.
- Voiced By: Betsy Ames
A Dark Seducer that is found patrolling Lady Syl's court in New Sheoth. She's later revealed to be The Mole and is involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Syl.
- Corrupt Cop: Or at least, is the equivalent of one as far as Dark Seducer guards go.
- Dark Action Girl
- Deadpan Snarker
- High-HeelFace Turn: An Enforced example. After being interrogated several times at a later point during "The Lady of Paranoia", she finally confesses to being involved in the conspiracy, and reveals that Muurine is the one behind it, but regrets that she is unable to supply any evidence of this to the Hero.
- Interspecies Romance: A Dummied Out interrogation session Herdir has with Nelrene implies that the former (an Imperial) has a sexual obsession with the latter (a Dark Seducer). Nelrene even accuses Herdir of fantasizing about the idea of her being trapped in his interrogation cage, despite Herdir's denial.
- Jerkass: Is notably much ruder towards the Player Character than the other Dark Seducers in the game, though she's not quite as nasty as the Golden Saints.
- Sore Loser: Even after her High-HeelFace Turn, she still acts as snippy and rude as before, if not more so.
- Statuesque Stunner
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Once the quest "The Lady of Paranoia" is completed, she disappears from the game for no clear reason.
- Voiced By: Bari Biern
A Golden Saint (Aureal) female, and Commander of the Golden Saints of Brellach.
- Ascended Extra: She previously appeared in Morrowind as a Golden Saint (the only named one in that entire game, no less) you had to fight during Azura's Quest. Here, she plays a much more important role as the commander of all the Golden Saints.
- Action Girl
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: She, along with her fellow Aureals, dies when Order stops the flow of their Wellspring, but come back to life when you purge the Order crystals obstructing the flow.
- Fiery Redhead: Unlike nearly all the other Aureals, whose hair tends to be some shade of blonde. Staada's hair is more of a copper/chestnut color, but it still counts.
- Permanently Missable Content: You only encounter her if you choose to become the Duke/Duchess of Dementia (since Brellach ironically cannot be accessed if you become the Duke/Duchess of Mania, despite it being in that region).
- Statuesque Stunner
Knights of the Nine characters
- Voice By: Wes Johnson
A hero from the early First Era who helped the Nedes rebel against Ayleid tyranny.
- Ax-Crazy: Against Elves. Mostly.
- God in Human Form: Of both Akatosh and Shezarr, maybe. He didn't like being called that, though.
- Heroic Albino: That's where Whitestrake comes from.
- Insane Equals Violent: Would go on violent rampages, usually against Ayleids (though sometimes he would kill Nedes) when he particularly lost it.
- Mad God: A maybe-God in Human Form whose connection with Akatosh turned him insane.
- Mood-Swinger: Comes from being mentally unstable.
- Sociopathic Hero: A raging psychotic who fought for Big Good Alessia.
- Time Travel: Was most likely from the future. He supposedly knew who Reman was thousands of years before his birth.
- Unstoppable Rage: Had legendary berserker rages.
An Ayleid sorceror-king slain by Pelinal Whitestrake in ancient times, but returned thanks to a pact with Meridia.